If you’re suffering from TMJ, you understand how debilitating this condition can be. The constant aches and pains, headaches, inability to eat certain foods, and much more can inhibit your daily life. Luckily, there is a way out of the prison that TMJ is holding you in. One of the ways you can find help for your debilitating TMJ symptoms is through your dentist. Keep reading to learn more about TMJ and how you can start your road to recovery with TMJ dentistry.
What is TMJ?
According to the American Dental Association, the temporomandibular joints, called TMJ, are the joints and jaw muscles that make it possible to open and close your mouth. Located on each side of the head, your TMJ works together when you chew, speak or swallow and includes muscles and ligaments as well as the jaw bone. They also control the lower jaw (mandible) as it moves forward, backward, and side to side.
Each TMJ has a disc between the ball and socket. The disc cushions the load while enabling the jaw to open widely and rotate or glide. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones from working properly may result in a painful TMJ disorder.
TMJ conditions fall into three main categories:
- Myofascial pain – discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function (grinding teeth can result in this type of TMJ disorder)
- Internal derangement of the joint – a possible indicator of a displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury to the condyle
- Arthritis – a degenerative inflammatory disorder
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders include:
- Soreness in the cheek or jaw area
- Pain in or around the ears
- Facial pain
- Tight jaws
- Popping or clicking sounds when opening mouth
- Locking of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
Can Dentistry Help TMJ?
Yes! In many cases, TMJ is caused by dislocation, injury to teeth, tooth and jaw alignment, and grinding while sleeping. If these issues are corrected with a dentist, the TMJ symptoms should go away.
In less severe cases TMJ disorders can be treated with small lifestyle changes such as eating soft foods, using ice packs, and avoiding extreme jaw movement. There are other nonsurgical treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, Botox injections, splits, and Myofunctional Therapy exercises. In more severe cases, surgical treatments (jaw joint replacements) may be necessary.
TMJ Help with Raio Dental
If you are looking for relief from TMJ and are ready to take the next step, we are here for you.
Located in Medford, New York, Dr. Raio is an Airway Health Specialist and Restorative Dentist. He has over 25 years of clinical experience and is a strong advocate of ongoing education and remains on the cutting edge of the most advanced treatments available for the treatment of his patients. The clinic offers a wide range of services such as general services, specialty services, and sleep dentistry.
For more information, visit www.raiodental.com